DREAM - A 4 -ENGINED HOMEBUILT"
I sat at the kitchen table on this cold 31st day of January, 2002, peering out at the first REAL snowfall of the season. Verdon popped in the door from the shop area sporting a copy of Homebuilt Aircraft from May 1979. His brother Joe had been gleaning ideas for his new homebuilt from past issues and had come upon the article written by Don Dwiggins of HA. Anxiously I began reading the yellowed pages and soaking up every bit of this article, as it was the missing article I've been seeking for years....one more true link to Weber Hovercrafts' past.....with pictures!
The article begins: "The Ground is thawing in Wisconsin country after one of the toughest winters in memory. Farmers in Lafayette County (WI) are into their spring planting chores. A few trees are starting to bud already. Soon the greening of the earth will begin, and down on the Weber farm on Dry Bone Road near Cuba City, a few miles north of Leadmine and New Diggings, twin brothers Vernon and Verdon Weber will stir to the rebirth of the land.
picture caption: Twin brothers
Verdon and Vernon Weber pose with their four-engined homebuilt they named
Weber's dream, built on their farm.
to Tennyson: "In the spring a
young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love."
But the Webers' thoughts will center on man's age-old dream - to build a
machine that can lift people up from the fields to soar with the birds.
dream of flying has belonged to brothers from the very beginnings of mechanical
flight. There were Etienne and
Joseph Montgolfier, Otto and Gustav Lilienthal, Orville and Wilbert WRight and
now Vernon and Verdon Weber. Thus
the fraternal heritage is strong in the hearts of these backyard mechanics who
made headlines in the local newspaper a few years ago with an amazing four-engined
homebuilt they called, appropriately, Weber's Dream. It was a big day when the Cuba City Tri-County Press, a
weekly sheet of 2291 circulation, broke the story.
After years of top-secret development, Vernon and Verdon had unveiled their Dream ship at the first annual EAA Fly-In Picnic, held at Lancaster Airport and sponsored by EAA Chapter 327 of Dubuque, Iowa. The meet drew a total of 17 planes and a crowd of 150 folks, not bad for a time when homebuilt movement was just starting to fly. In his weekly, Editor Rex Goldthorpe revealed that the Dream was powered by four chainsaw engines of 10 hp each and had been up to 500 feet, which the rbrothers reported was "a little scary."
In another faded clipping, the Dream is shown in a photograph sailing over a treetop with Verdon at the controls. The story was headlined: IT'S A FLY; IT'S A GNAT; NO, IT'S WEBER'S DREAM!
1969 story, wihch we read in the Webers' scrapbook, reported:
"The Weber Dream is stored next to a three-bottom plow in a metal
farm shed halfway up a corn-covered hillside.
It's an unlikely place to store an airplane, but the Weber Dream is an
unlikely-looking airplane. The craft weighs 250 pounds and can carry 200 more.
It's powered by four go-kart engiens that develop 36 horsepower, all
plane is 18 feet long and has an 18-foot wingspan. The pilot sits on a pair of cushions purchased at the
Montgomery Ward store in Dubuque. There
is no cockpit so the pilot wears ear plugs and goggles. Crash helmet is optional.
Visitors to the shed can look through the craft because there is no
fuselage to speak of.
"The tail, which moves sideways and tilts up and down for control, is connected to the rest of the plane with steel tubing from thee-eights to five-eights of an inch in diamer. It's the kind of plane that you fly by the seat of your pants. The Weber Dream is the brain child of two latter-day Wright brothers, Vernon and Verdon Weber, 29-year-old twins.
2nd picture caption: Under construction in the family barn, Weber's Dream sort of grew like Topsy, the result of imaginative designing.
3rd picture caption: There she goes! Vernon Weber guns the four-engine homebuilt down grass strip to make history of some kind or other.
4th picture caption: It flies! Vernon Weber's hat blew off but the dauntless farm boy proved that their ship, Weber's Dream, was a big success.
HAPPY HOVERING to Page 2!